Culture

Joe Biden's Violence Against Women Act Finally Comes Into Fruition

The law aims to protect survivors of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault.

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Joe Biden's Violence Against Women Act Finally Comes Into Fruition

The law aims to protect survivors of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault.

Joe Biden marked the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on Wednesday, after several years of unsuccessful attempts at passing the legislation.

The law was established on the grounds of protecting survivors of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual assault back in 1994. As legislation requires renewal every five years, the delay of its passage was due to a partisan disagreement concerning whether dating partners or stalkers convicted of domestic violence were allowed to possess firearms. The law currently extends to spouses who have engaged in such activity.

Although Democrats have sought to extend that rule to dating partners and close the “boyfriend loophole,” it had been dropped due to the lack of votes needed to pass. The President has expressed his disappointment over the law’s delayed authorization: “The idea that this took five years to reauthorize [...] I was out of office those years.” He continued: “The VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2022 will expand prevention efforts and protections for survivors, including those from underserved communities, and will provide increased resources and training for law enforcement and our judicial system.” Other forms of protection include “[the strengthening of] rape prevention and education efforts,” “[broadened] access to legal services for all survivors” and “[the] support [of] rape crisis centers.”

Besides thanking those in the room for sharing their voices and standing up for thousands of women, Biden has also expanded on the legislation, claiming that it has helped save lives, including those of children. He shared: “Tribal courts will now be able to exercise jurisdiction over non-Native perpetrators of sexual assault and sex trafficking. We’re [also] providing more support for legal services and for law enforcement to get the training they need to help handle the trauma survivors are experiencing.”

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